Contemporary Esotericism






I. Tradition

2. Constructing Esotericisms

Asprem & Granholm


3. Inventing Africa

Fredrik Gregorius


4. Secret Lineages

Per Faxneld


5. Chaos Magick

Colin Duggan


II. Popular Culture

6. Occulture is Ordinary

Christopher Partridge


7. From Book to Bit

Jesper Aagaard Petersen


8. Accessing the Astral

John L. Crow


9. Secrets of Scientology

Hugh B. Urban


10. Hidden Powers

Asbjo,rn Dyrendal


III. Esoteric Transfers

11. Discursive Transfers

Kocku von Stuckrad


12. Political Esotericism

Jacob Christiansen Senholt


13. New Age Spirituality

Eduard ten Houten


14. Deep Oikology

Joseph Christian Greer


IV. Leaving Margins

15. Esoteric Public

Kennet Granholm


16. Psychic Enchantments

Egil Asprem


17. Indigo Children

Daniel Kline


18. Esotericism Debate

Liselotte Frisk


19. Entheogenic Esotericism

Wouter J. Hanegraaff


20. Gendre & Esotericism

Jay Johnson




I. Tradition

2. Constructing Esotericisms

Asprem & Granholm


p. 42 literary influences on Mircea Eliade

[fn. 82 : "On the Jung-Eliade school of thought", see Wasserstrom [1999], 23."]

"the term "reintegration" that was central to Eliade's work, as well as his very conception of "tradition", was most likely to have been derived from Gue'non [fn. 84 : "Wasserstrom [1999], 38, 40."], and his Cosmos and History -- better known in English by its original subtitle, The Myth of the Eternal Return -- can be compared with [fn. 85 : Wasserstrom 1999, 46] Gue'non's Crisis of the Modern World (1927) and fellow Traditionalist Julius Evola's Revolt Against the Modern World (1934)."

[fn. 85 : On the influence of Traditionalism on Eliade, see Sedgewick 2004, 109-16."]

Wasserstrom 1999 = Steven M. Wasserstrom : Religion After Religion : Gershom Scholem, Mircea Eliade, and Henry Corbin at Eranos. Princeton Univ Pr.

Sedgewick 2004 = Mark Sedgewick : Against the Modern World : Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century. Oxford Univ Pr.

pp. 44-5 academic journals which have contributed to formulations of esoteric religious orders

p. 44

"The creation of specialist journals (e.g., Esoterica; Aries; Journal for the Study of Western Esotericism),

specialist book series (e.g., SUNY's Western Esoteric Traditions), and even

scholarly organizations (Association for the Study of Esotericism; ESSWE) and

study programmes (the University of Amsterdam programme in "Mysticism and Western Esotericism", and Exeter University's Centre for the

p. 45

Study of Esotericism) ... significantly contributes to the reification of the category".

pp. 45-6 systems of occultism initially praesented in spoof/novelistic guise

p. 45

"The Rosicrucian current was instigated with the publication of two


{i.e., novelistic}

pamphlets, Fama Fraternitatis (1614) and Confessio Fraternitatis (1615), followed by an alchemically loaded play, the Chymische Hochzeit Christiani Rosenkreutz (1616)."

p. 46

"In the nineteenth century we find several more examples of fiction influencing "esoteric" currents, such as

Emma Hardinge Britten's books ["Art Magic and Ghost Land, both published in 1876" ("EHB&OOTO")] -- which further influenced the creation of later initiatory orders -- and

Edward Bulwer-Lytton's

{"Emma ... was for a period of time a familiar, and perhaps a mistress, of Edward Bulwer Lytton" ("HOC", p. 6)

hugely influential novel Zanoni -- which spread the ... Rosicrucian "secret chiefs".

In the twentieth century and beyond, the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft has similarly asserted {exerted} an immense influence on occultism."

Emma Hardinge Britten (2 May 1823 - 2 October 1899) -- "Biographical Summary". &

"Papers and Essays".

"EHB&OOTO" = "Emma Hardinge Britten and the Origins of OTO".

"HOC" = "Hypotheses On The Orphic Circle".


I. Tradition

3. Inventing Africa

Fredrik Gregorius


pp. 53-5 African Lodge of FreeMasonry

p. 53

"Prince Hall was born in 1735 and lived most of his life in Boston ..., and while initial attempts to join the local lodge were unsuccessful, he and ... other African Americans were initiated into the Grand Lodge of Ireland on 6 March 1775. Prince Hall later established the African Lodge. ... The African Lodge was not officially founded until 1776; ... 1779, the Lodge formed its own by-laws, or regulations. These regulations were fairly standard, excluding atheists ... . ... According to historian Wilson Jeremia[h] Moses [1998, p. 49], Prince Hall Masonry was a fairly standard form of Masonry ... . ...

p. 54

A document ... within Prince Hall Masonry is found in the writings of black nationalist leader Martin Robison Delany (1812-85). In 1853 Delany published ... The Origins and Objects of Freemasonry. ... .

[Ibid., p. 53, quoted :] ... the Bible itself tells us that "Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians". ...

p. 55

[Ibid., p. 67, quoted :] Was it not Africa that gave birth to Euclid ...? and was it not in consequence of twenty five years' residence in Africa that the great Pythagoras was enabled to discover ... geometry ... without which Masonry would be incomplete? Must I hesitate to tell ... that,

as applied to Masonry, the word, Eureka, was first exclaimed in Africa? But -- there I have revealed the Masonic secret ...!"

{Eureka, 'I have found', scil. the corpse of H.iram Abiw (from Phoinikia), which is likened to the discovery of the corpse of Osiris (also in Phoinikia, in the capital of a pilastre) which discovery is revered as the FreeMasonic secret.}

Moses 1998 = Wilson Jeremiah Moses : Afrotopia. Berkeley : Univ of CA Pr.

Delany 1853 = Martin Robison Delany : "The Origins and Objects of Freemasonry". In :- Robert S. Levine (ed.) : Martin R. Delany : a Documentary Reader. Chapel Hill : Univ of NC Pr, 2003. pp. 46-67.

pp. 55-9 historic Afrocentric literature

p. 55

"Among the most important books in the Afrocentric paradigm is George G. M. James's ... Stolen Legacy (1954). ...

p. 56

Most of this is standard material from Masonic and Rosicrucian writings, and the British historian Stephen Howe has claimed [1999, p. 66] that Stolen Legacy is as "much a mystic-ritualistic, and more specifically Masonic, work as it is an Afrocentric one." ...

p. 57

One of James's most quoted sources is ... Charles H. Vail's The Ancient Mysteries and Modern Masonry from 1909. Its influence is most notable when it comes to the contents of the Egyptian mysteries ..., and James sometimes quotes whole pages from Vail ... . ... Vail was a ... Universalist clergyman and {based on "the writings of Laurence Gronlund" ("3FChHV", p. 5)}a dedicated socialist , whose work before The Ancient Mysteries included titles such as

Principles of Scientific Socialism,

The Industrial Evolution,

Mission of the Working Class and

Socialism and the Negro Problem. ...

p. 58

For modern Afrocentrists, James's book has become a central work and is for some almost above all forms of critique. ...

p. 59

One who has developed this theme is Zachary P. Gremillion .... . ...

He connects Masonry with the Egyptian mysteries (following Martin Delaney and George James's theories), and

{Gerald Massey of the Chartists (a quasi-Freemasonic movement), in particular, made much use of the Aiguptian mysteries in his book Ancient Egypt the Light of the World.}

makes connections to both Prince Hall and the Nation of Islam.

{Certain organizations of FreeMasonry, notably the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.) and the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine (A.E.A.O.N.M.S.), utilize heavily both the symbols, and the nomenclature, of >islam.}

He claims [2005, p. 250] that [<]Elijah Muh[.]ammad, leader of the Nation of Islam from 1935 to 1975, was a Mason and that the teachings of the movement are filled with Masonic symbolism."

Vail 1909 = Charles H. Vail : The Ancient Mysteries and Modern Masonry. NY : Macoy Publ.

Howe 1999 = Stephen Howe : Afrocentrism : Mythic Pasts and Imagined Homes. NY : Verso.

"3FChHV" = Dan McKanan : "The Three Faces of Charles H. Vail".

Gremillion 2005 = Zachary P. Gremillion : African Origins of Freemasonry. Bloomington (IN) : Author House.

Gerald Massey : Ancient Egypt the Light of the World. London, 1907.

Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine

pp. 59-61 Kawaida

p. 59

"the US Organization ... Originally

p. 60

founded by followers of Malcolm X and based on his legacy, ... soon ... became ... quasi-religious ... . A priesthood was established within US to ... deepen the members' understanding ... . ... the movement was part of the more political Black Power movement, and Karenga, who also pursued an academic career, wrote a dissertation on African-American Nationalism in 1976. Still, Karenga ... created a system called Kawaida ... . ... Central to Kawaida are seven principles, called nguzo saba ... . These are [Karenga 1998, p. 125] :

Umoja (Unity) ...

Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) ...

Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) ...

Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) ...

Nia (Purpose) ...

Kuumba (Creativity) ...

Imani (Faith) ... ."

"Karenga regarded God as being within the human being itself.

These ideas were probably inspired by the Nation of Islam. [Austin 2006, pp. 63-4]

{To regard the divinity as praesent within humanity is characteristic of certain forms of mystical >islam, such as the H.urufi and the Bektas`i.}

The supernatural was an aspect of African culture which Karenga rejected ... .

{This would not be intended to imply, of course, rejecting the supernature residing within oneself.}

p. 61

Still, ... Karenga created his own year of celebrations ... to replace the Christian one. One of these celebrations,

Kwanzaa, became rather successful ... . ...

{/Kwanza/ is the name of a river in African Angola.}

Still, in his Introduction to Black Studies [Karenga 1983], Egypt plays a prominent ... role. Egyptian civilization is regarded as having is origin in Ethiopia ... . ...

However, his second doctoral dissertation in 1994 was concerned with ... maat in ancient Egypt".

{This is ML<t, the divine feather of the goddess of Truth.}

Karenga 1976 = Maulana Karenga : African-American Nationalism. PhD diss, U.S. International Univ.

Karenga 1998 = Maulana Karenga : Kwanzaa. Los Angeles : Univ of Sankore Pr.

Austin 2006 = Algernon Austin : Achieving Blackness. New York Univ Pr.

Karenga 1983 = Introduction to Black Studies. Los Angeles : Kawaida Publ.

Karenga 1994 = Maat, the Moral Idea in Ancient Egypt. PhD diss, Univ of Southern California.

pp. 61-3 Njia of Asante/As^anti (name of an Akan tribe in Gold Coast)

p. 61

"Asante answered some ... critics in one of his latest books, An Afrocentric Manifesto (2007) ... . ...

p. 62

Spirituality plays a central role for Asante, and like Karenga he is opposed [Asante 2003, pp. 5-10] to ... Africans adopting Christianity or Islam as their religion. In contrast to many other black nationalists,

he spends a lot of time criticizing Islam, which he regards as a form of ... nationalism. ...

{Perhaps the worst defect of >islam is that it is brutally monotheistic, promoting autocratic tyranny both in heaven and on earth. It is not specifically "nationalistic" -- being opposed to the welfare of any national (or other) populace -- but is instead monarchistically tyrannical, catering to the violent whims of any vicious tyranny, whether the hateful >al-Lah of >islam in heaven or any which murderous royalty on earth.}

Asante ... calls the basis of his worldview

Njia -- "the Way" ... .

{a translation of the Chinese /Tao/ 'the Way'}

Njia takes ceremonial forms, is focused on ancestor worship, and

{Chinese religion is the most caerimonial of all religions, as well as being more focused on ancestor-worship than any other religion on this planet.}

furthers an Afrocentric view of the world ... . ...

{If one's motive be to excell in caerimony and in ancestor-worship, one would do better to be Sinocentric.}

p. 63

Rather then focusing on the impact

white culture

{CAPITALISM, not "white culture"}

had had on African people,

{Capitalism hath indeed exercised a deleterious effect on all peoples, the world over (with no exception).}

the Afrocentric perspective would focus [Asante 2007, pp. 157-9] on how Africans, even in the diaspora, essentially remained "Africans" and thought in an African manner. ...

Asante is opposed to religions that he regards as requiring submission to God.

{The "religions" which require submission to the superrich (and to some "God" or deities who allegedly uphold dominance of human society by the superrich) are, of course, fake systems which superrich have constructed and imposed on the working-class.}

His arguments are similar to Karenga's, but

but rather than seeing African religions as containing "spookism", as Karenga does,

{Deities may perhaps "spook" horses and other ignorant animals, but humans the deities (deities of Africans and of other peoples living in primitive communism, that is) delight and please with much wise advice (as is well known in deity-possession cults of Africa and of the African diaspora).}

Asante claims that African religions are based on the notion of God {read "Gods" or "Deities"} being immanent." {immanent in what? people, sacred places, ritual objects, etc., (perhaps)}

{The immanent Deities may include some which do some spookery (spooking of animals and of foolish persons).}

Asante 2007 = Molefi Kete Asante : An Afrocentric Manifesto. Cambridge : Polity Pr.

Asante 2003 = Molefi Kete Asante : Afrocentricity. Chicago : African American Images.

p. 64 WSJR LSt society

"Un Nefer Amen

{/WN NFR JMN/ 'Great Good West'}

(born Rogelio Alcides Staughn in Panama, in 1944) and his Ausar Auset Society, based in Brooklyn, New York ... .

Ausar and Auset

{better transliterated /WSJR/ and /LSt/}

are alternative names for Osiris and Isis, and the teachings of the society ... have their origins in Egypt. ...

The religious system ... incorporates all ... from diet (Amen promotes vegetarianism) to relationships (guides for living ... are available). But there are also more esoteric aspects that focus on yoga and other spiritual techniques."

"History of Ausar Auset".

pp. 64-5 Aiguptian yoga

p. 64

"Dr Muata A. Ashby ... has published books

p. 65

with titles such as Egyptian Yoga (2005), ... based on ancient Egyptian teachings. ... Ashby sees ... in Egyptian descriptions of the gods ... a yoga system based on the body poses of various deities".

"About [Egyptian Yoga]".

pp. 65-7 Cress Theory

p. 65

"the American psychologist Frances Cress Welsing (b. 1935) ... In the 1970s presented what she termed "The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation and Racism". According to Karenga, she was influenced by the radical scholar Neeley Fuller's Textbook for the Victims of White Supremacy (1969). ...

p. 66

Evidence ... could in Welsing's [1991] mind be seen throughout ..., from pool tables -- where the white ball is used to strike all the coloured ones --

{Where a white ball is causing one colored ball to impell another colored ball into a pocket, this could be perhaps taken to repraesent use of enlightenment (whiteness) to encourage certain persons (the balls struck by the white one) to benefit other persons (the balls entring the pockets).}

to candy bars that represented the genitalia of black men which white people secretly wanted to consume. ...

{Caucasoid women who accept into their mouths the phalloi (penes) of Negroid men is certainly a major theme of recent pornography, and very much to be found on the Internet. It would be clever for those Negroid men to coat their phalloi with melted chocolate in order to induce Caucasoid women to accept more avidly the penes of the men into their Caucasoid mouths. Might we add that Negroid women could as readily coat their nymphai (vulvae) with honey in order to induce Caucasoid men more avidly to suck those Negroid vulvae? [These suggestions may well portend major very popular pornographic food-fads for the future!]}

According to Welsing, ... an African matriarchy ... was disrupted by the appearance of a genetic mutation : albinos.

{In albinoidism ["PA&NN"] amongst Negroids, their usual appearance (as if they constituted another race of humanity) is mottled (piebald, with some regions of the skin appearing similar to in Caucasoids, while other regions remain brown -- but no regions of intermediate tint).}

The mutants were expelled ... . ...

{Is that how the royal dynasties first started? Albinism in negroids is sometimes a result (progeny) of consanguine (incestuous) marriage ["AN"], a regular practice among Kemetic royalty.}

Considering the recent violence against albinos in parts of Africa, Welsing's ideas appear all the more disturbing. ...

{Is that how the custom of regicide (described in, e.g., James Frazer's The Golden Bough) commenced; and continued until the Roman festival "Regifugium" supplanted it?}

p. 67

Welsing's work has had a larger impact than one might at first expect. ... References to her work ... can even be found in the works of academic feminist writers such as Patricia Hill Collins [2006, pp. 115-16] ... . ... Welsing is treated as an acknowledged academic in scholarly Afrocentric journals like Journal of Black Studies and Journal of Black Psychology".

Welsing 1991 = Frances Cress Welsing : The Isis Papers : the Keys to the Colors. Chicago : CW Publ.

"PA&NN" =

"AN" = "Albinismo en negroides".

Collins 2006 = Patricia Hill Collins : From Black Power to Hip Hop. Philadelphia : Temple Univ Pr.

pp. 67-8 activation of melanin-power

p. 67

"books on how to activate the power of melanin within you. These books often contain health tips and different spiritual techniques like meditation by which this [activation] can be done. ...

p. 68

Examples of such books are Deanne Meningall's The Melanin Diet (2009) and Llaila O. Afrika's Nutricide ... (2001)."

pp. 68-9 cave folk & riverbank folk

p. 68

"the white Canadian writer Michael Bradley in his 1991 book Iceman Inheritance ... claims that

white people are more violent and aggressive because their DNA contains elements of Neanderthal DNA ... .

{Neanderthals were evidently more violent toward large beasts, meat and fur of which they needed for subsistence much the year (winter, especially). Modern humans who at that time were confined to Africa, however, were dwelling in year-around warm climates where invertebrates (such as, snails and caterpillars) were always available for food, so that no violence nor aggression toward mammals was necessary.} {It is, however, rather generally believed by anthropologists that Homo neanderthalensis was a distinct species from Homo sapiens, so that no genetic material could have been transmitted from Neanderthals to any existing instances of humanity.}

p. 69

These ideas have been embraced by the Afrocentric scholar Leonard Jeff[e]ries who divides the world into black "sun people" and white "icemen"."

[Assertions by Leonard Jefferies, quoted from Benjamin 1993-4, p. 96 :]

"People of European heritage acclimated themselves to caves ... . Scavenging for food ..., they acquired their "dog-eat-dog values."

{Greed became part of European mentality along with haereditary hegemony of wealthy families only after agriculture made food-surplus available; not in the troglodyte epoch.}

Sun people ... live on a riverbank with an abundance of coconuts".

{It is not possible (unless chile-peppers or other enzyme-containing foods be concurrently comested) to subsist on any plant-foods exclusively, such as coconuts (which, incidentally, grow on seashores, not on riverbanks).}

Benjamin 1993-4 = Richard M. Benjamin : "Bizarre Classroom of Dr Leonard Jefferies". J OF BLACKS IN HIGHER EDUCATION 2:91-6.


Egil Asprem & Kennet Granholm (edd.): Contemporary Esotericism. Equinox Publ Ltd, Sheffield, 2013.